The Urgent Need to Shift Away from Fossil Fuels

Utah relies heavily on fossil fuels like coal and gas for electricity (85%), despite national trends moving away from coal. This dependence contributes to carbon pollution, driving climate change and causing severe weather.


Utah is the 12th largest coal producer in the United States, generating 22,391 gigawatt hours. Coal accounted for 57% of Utah's total electricity generation.


Utah ranks as the 13th largest producer of marketed gas in the United States, generating 11,064 gigawatt hours. Gas accounted for 28% of Utah's total electricity generation.


Wind power produced 724 gigawatt-hours, contributing only 1.85% to Utah's electricity generation.


Solar power generated 3,850 gigawatt hours, making up 9.84% of Utah's total electricity generation.

Utah's Current Energy Portfolio

Hover over each image to discover Utah’s energy generation. Note that biomass, petroleum, hydroelectric, and geothermal together make up just 3% of Utah’s energy mix.

Jeff Clay/ClayHaus Photography

Environmental and Health Impacts​

Fossil fuel energy sources pose a significant threat to our environment and health, disproportionately impacting children, the elderly, and vulnerable communities that are often socially and economically disadvantaged. Key environmental and public health effects include:

Effects on Health

  • Elevated levels of air pollutants, such as fine particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have led to a surge in respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, including lung cancer and chronic bronchitis. Early exposure to these pollutants also increases the risk of developmental impairment, asthma, and cancer.

Effects on the Environment

  • Escalating greenhouse gas emissions from burning of fossil fuels exacerbates a range of environmental health risks, especially to vulnerable populations. These include exposure to extreme weather events like heat waves and heat-related disease, flash floods, drought, wildfires, the spread of infectious diseases, food and water insecurity, and negative mental health impacts that strain our healthcare systems.

Inequity in Environmental and Health effects

Living in proximity to fossil fuel extraction and refineries is associated with a number of health risks, including respiratory conditions, cancers, cardiovascular disease, liver damage, and poor birth outcomes. Workers in these locations face particularly severe health and safety risks. Furthermore, the disposal of the waste produced during fossil fuel extraction and processing leaves communities vulnerable to toxic substances and waste that may leach into water and soil.


We believe that our energy system should be built for the people it serves.

That’s why HEAL Utah works to advance a clean energy future that not only reduces emissions and stabilizes the climate, but also promotes adaptation, resilience, health equity, and economic opportunity in our communities. 

Advance Renewable Energy

HEAL supports policies that prioritize and incentivize solar, wind, and geothermal energy production, storage, and battery technology.


    • Net-100% Renewable Communities: HEAL supports Utahns ability to achieve net-100% renewable electricity that is reliable and affordable 

Support Utah’s Energy Communities

HEAL works to ensure that funding, support, and clean energy resources and policies are geographically targeted and based on the needs of the community 


    • Quality Jobs and a Clean Economy: HEAL Utah works alongside a coalition of labor, environmental, and advocates to ensure communities and workers are part of Utah’s clean energy future.

Advance Energy Efficiency and Electrification

HEAL works to accelerate safe and equitable mobility options throughout the state as a means of reducing energy consumption for passenger travel


  • 435 Statewide Transit: HEAL Utah works alongside a statewide coalition of community leaders, members, and organizations dedicated to improving public transit in rural and micropolitan areas of Utah that use the ‘435’ zip code.
  • Equitable Micro-Mobility: HEAL Utah works alongside a coalition of health and transportation advocates to ensure communities have access to equitable and safe micro-mobility options
  • Equitable EV Charging & Readiness: HEAL works to ensure equitable access is part of our EV infrastructure planning.
  • Sustainable Building: Codes: HEAL works to broaden access to net-zero mass transit and buildings


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